Book Reviews

Review: Vintage: A Novel by Susan Gloss


I found this novel while research vintage clothing stores for a novel I’m writing. It sounded fun so I got it from the library.

The Story

Violet owns a popular vintage clothing store right off the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. April joins the story by wanting to return her vintage wedding dress. Amithi Singh sells some of her beautiful embroidered silks and saris to the shop after her daughter rejects them. Betsy has a wardrobe Violet would love to sell. Then comes the landlord with the death knell for the store!

The Good

The book starts out fun and believable. I could see a vintage clothing shop thriving on a lively, liberal campus like Wisconsin, Madison. I could picture everything around it–cool head shops and coffee places, used book stores and vinyl record shops. The premise was solid and the characters, if a bit predictable, were just enough different to attract and keep my interest.  I loved Betsy’s contribution. Women’s fiction as it should be.

The Bad

Somehow the story seemed to fall apart after Violet’s bright idea to hold a drag queen fashion show to boost the store’s coffers and, hopefully, exercise her contractual first refusal to buy the building. Betsy’s story saved it some, as did April’s, but not enough.

While April’s romantic issue was believable, I found Violet’s trite and her love interest to be too rushed and blah. I wish they’d left her ex- out entirely. That seemed drama for drama’s sake.


3 Solid Stars. I would gladly read another book by this author.


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